Atari founder: Nintendo on a “path to irrelevance”

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Nintendo could find themselves already on a “path to irrelevance,” warns Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.

He believes that the Kyoto-based outfit finds itself in a “very difficult position” with Wii U, which analysts are currently likening to Atari’s dramatic fall from success with their Jaguar.

The Jaguar hit retail in 1993, but was discontinued after three years having faced competition from newer consoles from SEGA and Sony.

“I don’t think handheld game-only devices make sense anymore,” Bushnell explained to the BBC. “Not when you have an iPod or an Android microtablet.

“When it comes to the console market, I think the market is truncating. Nintendo always had a soft spot for young people – they sort of did the 12-and-under pretty well, and the other guys did the 12-and-over. And now I think the other [consoles] are good enough on those things, and the rush to upgrade from the 12-and-under is not nearly as important.”

With 2013 having seen the continued resurgence of the Nintendo 3DS, the company will most certainly be turning their attention to reverse the fortunes of Wii U.

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